Tag

featured

Browsing

For most of the world, meat provides a significant percentage of dietary protein. And for Americans, there’s few meat-based dishes more iconic than a good-old hamburger.

Much to the chagrin of burger lovers, though, red meat has become the subject of increasing criticism. As early as the late 1970s and early 1980s, a string of studies demonstrated the health risks of red meat consumption—but many of studies were criticized for being biased and improperly designed.

To clarify the issue, Harvard researchers set out to conduct a comprehensive, impeccably designed study. It followed 37,000 men and 83,000 women over the course of multiple decades. The results were published in 2012 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, and they leave little room for debate about the risks of eating red meat.

24,000 participants died during the study, 5,900 from cardiovascular disease and 9,500 from cancer. The researchers calculated that an additional serving of unprocessed red meat increased total mortality risk by 13%, and that a serving of processed meat increased the risk by 20%. They estimated that consuming even one less serving of red meat per day (and replacing it with healthful foods) can lower mortality risk by up to 19%.[1]

Meanwhile, alternative media sources (including the well-known documentary Cowspiracy) have helped reveal the environmentally disastrous effects of the meat industry. Beef production contributes hugely to greenhouse gas emissions, such that a vegetarian’s carbon footprint is less than half that of a meat eater’s.

But let’s face it: it’s not very likely that the majority of Americans will give up red meat, despite these well-documented risks. So companies like Impossible Burger have set out to find a middle road.

A veggie burger that satisfies meat lovers?

Impossible Burger’s quest was to create a plant-based burger that gives the same mouth-watering experience, but without harm to your body or the environment. They even have a catchy slogan to sum up their mission: “Eat a Burger. Save the World.”

And when they say their burger offers the same experience as chowing down on a conventional burger, they mean it. They set out to make the Impossible Burger nearly indistinguishable from its meat-based analog, and many people (even hardcore veggie burger skeptics) believe they’ve succeeded. It even “bleeds” like a real burger, thanks to a soy-derived version of a protein called heme (more on this ingredient in a bit).

Fast food and “better burger” chains around the country are starting to offer the Impossible Burger, and the company is building considerable momentum.

This may all sound like a positive step toward attenuating the risks of red meat consumption. Unfortunately, though, some major issues need to be addressed before the Impossible Burger can even remotely be considered a safe and healthful alternative.

The dark side of the Impossible Burger

Remember that “bleeding” soy protein mentioned above? It’s known as leghemoglobin, and it turns out it’s genetically modified, despite widespread characterizations of the Impossible Burger as “organic” and “non-GMO.”

When the company first sought approval for their product, the FDA suggested that the safety of leghemoglobin had not been adequately demonstrated in humans, especially since nearly 25% of the substance is comprised of 46 “non-target proteins” (which “co-purify” with leghemoglobin during the process of extracting it from Pichia pastoris yeast cells). The FDA expressed concern that these untested proteins could cause unforeseen allergic or antigenic effects.[2]

Nevertheless, the Impossible Burger was granted GRAS status (Generally Regarded As Safe) by the FDA in July, 2018—a status that exempts it from human safety studies. While the company did provide well-reasoned responses in the document cited above, their product’s approval may have just as much to do with their $400 million of funding from pro-GMO investors like Bill Gates.

So what does this mean for our dietary choices?

It’s important to remember that none of these criticisms change the fact that red meat does carry serious risks, both for your health and the environment.

The grave limitations of the Impossible Burger have now come to light, but on a fundamental level, the project is still well-conceived. It is still essential for us to temper our relationship with red meat, if we wish to promote personal and planetary health.

If you’re worried about the safety of the Impossible Burger (and you have good reason to be, until comprehensive human safety studies are conducted), there are still plenty of other options for saving the world—they just might not involve as many burgers.

Try going completely plant-based. Veggie burgers meticulously made with truly organic, non-GMO, healthful ingredients might not taste exactly like beef hamburgers, but they can be incredibly delicious…and they don’t carry any of the risks of beef burgers or Impossible Burgers.

Try reducing your meat consumption. Every bit helps. Recall from the study above that even replacing one serving of meat per day can have a significant impact on your health.

If you decide to continue eating meat, be selective. Conventionally raised, non-organic beef carries dramatically more health risks, so eat organic, grass-finished beef whenever possible (this means that the cows have been fed only grass throughout their entire lifetime). Verifying the sourcing of meat can be much more difficult when eating at restaurants, but it’s worth the effort. More and more establishments are recognizing the importance of offering optimal quality meat (and plant-based options), so with a bit of legwork, you can ensure that your repertoire of favorite eateries offers choices that are healthful and environmentally sustainable.


References

[1] https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/risk-red-meat

[2] https://1bps6437gg8c169i0y1drtgz-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/072717_Impossible_Burger_FOIA_documents.pdf

Image source

“Tylenol Is By Far The Most Dangerous Drug Ever Made”

Aric Hausknecht, M.D. July 30, 2017 

“Each year a substantial number of Americans experience intentional and unintentional Tylenol (acetaminophen) associated overdoses that can result in serious morbidity and mortality. Acetaminophen-associated overdoses account for about 50,000 emergency room visits and 25,000 hospitalizations yearly.Acetaminophen is the nation’s leading cause of liver failure, according to data from an ongoing study funded by the National Institutes for Health.”

If you take acetaminophen—the active ingredient in Tylenol—you’re certainly not alone. It probably won’t surprise you to hear that millions of Americans take acetaminophen-containing medications every week.

But did you know that this supposedly low-risk drug is implicated in over 110,000 annual injuries and deaths?[1]

The prevalence of Tylenol, its ease of access, and the nonchalance with which it is used (even by doctors) would make you think that medical professionals have established its solid safety profile based on a comprehensive understanding of its mechanisms and risks—but that just isn’t the case.

In fact, we don’t even really know how acetaminophen works. Our understanding is limited to what happens when we take it—and much of what researchers are now uncovering might make you wonder whether the limited pain relief offered by acetaminophen is really worth it.

Let’s take a look at some of the acute risks you’re accepting by taking acetaminophen—even if you take it infrequently and as directed.

Liver damage. Most people are aware of the liver risks associated with acetaminophen—it’s for this reason that ibuprofen is more commonly used (though we’ll explain later why ibuprofen can also be a dangerous choice). A comprehensive study of the subject reports that 50% of overdose-related liver failures and 20% of liver transplants occur because of acetaminophen overdose (either intentional or unintentional).[2]

Experts urge great caution, especially because “the pathophysiology, disease course, and management of acute liver failure secondary to [acetaminophen] toxicity remain to be precisely elucidated.”[3]

Multiple organ damage (and increased mortality risk). Liver toxicity is usually the end of the conversation around acetaminophen’s risks, but in reality, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Researchers are finding that Tylenol and other acetaminophen-containing drugs, even at modest doses, pose serious risks to other organs too.

One systematic review found that those who take Tylenol (even as directed) increase their risk of cardiovascular toxicity, gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney damage, and death (i.e. all-cause mortality).[4]

Mood imbalance. Here’s where it gets even creepier: mounting evidence suggests that acetaminophen adversely affects mood, even at doses well within the recommended “safe” daily range. One study reported that subjects who took 1,000 mg of Tylenol (only one third of the “safe” daily dose) exhibited decreased empathy and other positive emotions, and “blunted evaluation sensitivity to both negative and positive stimuli.”[5]

This worrying side effect is motivating researchers to look deeper into how acetaminophen depletes glutathione, a key compound for regulating detoxification throughout the body and brain. Some experts believe that glutathione depletion could be the key to understanding a wide range of acetaminophen’s dangerous side effects, from mood alteration and depression to organ toxicity.

Prenatal risks. Because of all the risks shared above, it’s highly advisable to avoid acetaminophen during pregnancy. In case you need another reason to seek out pain relief alternatives, though, studies have demonstrated that children exposed to acetaminophen in the womb exhibited dose-dependent issues related to motor function, communication, and behavior.

Some evidence even suggests that prenatal acetaminophen exposure can contribute to the development of childhood disorders like ADHD and autism.[6]

Alternatives for dealing with pain

The current opioid epidemic is proof that Americans are desperately in need of solutions for dealing with pain. While acetaminophen is at least less detrimental than prescription opioid painkillers, the information above should make it clear that it should not be considered safe for frequent and casual use.

Other NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, are marginally less risky, in that they at least seem to have a greater margin of error (meaning that toxicity and side effects tend to begin at a higher dose relative to the minimum effective dose).

That being said, the overall safety record of ibuprofen looks barely any better; studies have strongly linked its use with anemia,[7] miscarriage,[8] DNA damage,[9] hearing loss (especially in men),[10] hypertension,[11] gastrointestinal complications,[12] increased risk of influenza mortality, and even increased risk of sudden cardiac arrest.

So instead of using these OTC medications of questionable safety, turn to natural anti-inflammatories whenever possible. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory par excellence, and has been shown to provide the same pain reduction and functional improvement as ibuprofen, without any side effects.[13]

And for even more powerful relief, try a complex of turmeric, ginger, and nourishing omega-3s, such as this exceptional pain relief blend offered by PuraTHRIVE.

And remember that your lifestyle choices can make a huge difference when it comes to reducing inflammation and the pain that accompanies it. Dairy products, foods in the nightshade family, processed foods, refined sugars, and gluten can all exacerbate inflammation.

If you find yourself often having to reach for Tylenol because of pain, inflammation, and headaches, try cutting these foods out of your diet and replace them with nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats.

 


References 

[1] https://www.propublica.org/article/tylenol-mcneil-fda-behind-the-numbers

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4913076/

[3] Ibid.

[4] https://ard.bmj.com/content/75/3/552.short

[5] http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797615570366

[6] http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797615570366

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12561250

[8] https://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d5769

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22283434

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20193831

[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18622250

[12] https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2813%2960900-9/fulltext

[13] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3964021/

Image source

Plastic has solved many of the problems of industrial society. It’s lightweight, cheap, and easy to produce; no wonder it was once considered a marvel of modern science. Those days are over, though, as we now know that plastic triggers nearly as many problems as it solves.

Its non-biodegradable nature (once hailed as durability) has allowed it to clog our land and oceans, and its toxicity presents a grave threat to human beings, as well as the greater ecosystems of which we are a part.

One of the most common toxic plastic constituents is bisphenol-A (BPA). It can easily be used as a building block of resins, as well as a variety of plastics. It’s also a dangerous endocrine disruptor—that is, it mimics the body’s natural hormones and disrupts normal endocrine function as a result.

Because hormones regulate nearly every aspect of the body, it didn’t take long for researchers to discover the problems that BPA can cause.

A review of relevant medical literature reveals that seventy-five studies link BPA to “adverse perinatal, childhood, and adult health effects,” including cancer, obesity, type 2 diabetes, reproductive issues, asthma, developmental issues, birth defects, compromised gut flora, immune dysfunction, and more.[1]

And these risks affect nearly all of us—even a decade ago, the CDC reported in their National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey that 93% of all the urine samples they analyzed contained detectable levels of BPA.[2]

Such unequivocal data has prompted a widespread campaign to replace BPA-containing plastics with safer alternatives. But researchers are worried that these new plastics are just as bad for us.

How we accidentally discovered that BPA alternatives pose health risks

A recently published study demonstrates that BPS and other BPA variants have biological effects similar to those of BPA.[3] The strange part is that researchers made this discovery accidentally, while attempting to study the reproductive effects of BPA in mice.

Geneticist Patricia Hunt of Washington State University and her research team separated the mice into two groups: one that received doses of BPA through a dropper, and one that did not (the control group). Before long, the control group became almost indistinguishable from the BPA group, with both exhibiting adverse genetic effects.

After much confusion, Hunt finally figured out what was happening: both groups of mice were housed in plastic cages that were leaching bisphenol S (BPS), a widely used replacement for BPA.

This finding shifted the focus of the study, and the final published version reported on the multi-generational genotoxicity of both BPA and “replacement bisphenols.”[4]

The finer details of this genotoxicity are very worrisome: Hunt and her team report that BPA and its analogues can fundamentally disrupt the passing of genetic material during reproduction, and that the effects of such disruption (birth defects, lowered sperm count, reduced egg quality, etc.) can be passed down to future generations.

And toxicity aside, the study results also point to an equally worrisome phenomenon in chemical engineering—namely the tendency to replace chemicals of concern with structurally similar ones. The practice is so common that scientists have a name for these replacement chemicals: regrettable substitutes.

Subsequent studies have come to show just how regrettable BPA alternatives are—evidence overwhelmingly suggests that bisphenol S (BPS), bisphenol F (BPF), bisphenol AF (BPAF), tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), and other structural analogs of BPA are all endocrine disruptors and reproductive toxicants in animal models.[5]

How to minimize your toxicity risk

The study above reveals two worrying truths about the plastic industry.

First, it shows that, when rolling out replacements for plastic compounds that have been deemed toxic, manufacturers are always most likely to choose “regrettable substitutes.” Using structurally similar compounds is dramatically more cost-effective, and this practice isn’t technically prohibited by any existing regulation.

Secondly, the study reminds us that we have no way of knowing the risks of new plastic chemicals until a thorough examination is conducted—and manufacturers are simply not required to conduct any such safety evaluation before bringing their products to market.

The wise move when it comes to plastic products, then, is to assume that they’re toxic until proven safe. Experts particularly recommend avoiding plastics with recycling numbers 3, 6, 7, which all contain chemicals worthy of concern.

The absolute best course of action is to minimize your use of plastic altogether. Plastic is an ecological nightmare anyway, so any attempt to decrease your reliance upon it is beneficial for both your health and the environment. Ditch single-use plastics like grocery bags, takeout containers, straws, and coffee cups—they make up a significant percentage of all discarded plastic, and are easy to replace with reusable alternatives.

If you do still use plastic receptacles or kitchenware, try to avoid the most toxic types listed above, and don’t ever put plasticware in the dishwasher—the heat tends to leach toxic chemicals, which are then redeposited on the rest of your dishes.

 


References

[1] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890623813003456

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18197297

[3] https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(18)30861-3

[4] Ibid.

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29925041

Image source

“Food is Medicine”

We have all heard this saying before, but do we really understand what this means?

Therapeutic dietary practices continue to prove their worth. Researchers now refer to foods with therapeutic applications as “functional foods”—they offer an easy and powerful way to take control of our health, and some of them have been right under our noses all along.

For example, researchers have found that parsley is much more than just a flavoring or garnish—this humble herb can offer powerful protection against some of the most common serious diseases, including cancer.

Your herb garden and spice drawer are medicine cabinets

In past articles, we’ve discussed the healing properties of varied herbs and spices. It turns out that turmeric is one of the most effective anti-inflammatories ever discovered, that ginger can fight cancer as effectively (or more so) than chemotherapy, that cilantro can chelate heavy metals from the body, and that oregano is a powerful natural antibiotic.

Research has proliferated around the use of common herbs and spices to prevent or treat cancer. Many of the most common herbs in backyard gardens are potent and sophisticated cancer fighters: oregano, rosemary, thyme, mint, sage, and last but certainly not least…parsley.

Parsley isn’t normally regarded as a health powerhouse—it’s usually used as a disposable garnish, or at most as a secondary flavoring spice. This is a far cry from ancient times, when it was valued as a sacred adornment for tombs, as well as a powerful and versatile medicine.

Modern research has now shown us that parsley deserves every bit of high regard. In order to understand how this underestimated herb can be useful for preventing or treating cancer, we’ll look at a few of its foundational health-supporting properties.

Nutrient density. We’ve written before about the great importance of a nutrient-dense diet, especially in this time of junk foods and depleted soils. Parsley checks plenty of boxes in this category, offering three times more vitamin C than oranges, as well as vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, and a variety of essential minerals. Providing your body with clean, nutrient-dense foods like parsley is always the first foundational step of preventing cancer and other health conditions.

Antioxidant activity. If there’s any principle of healthy eating that’s as critical as nutrient density, it’s oxidative stress prevention. Oxidative stress is one of the main culprits behind the development of nearly every major disease, including cancer. It’s a normal part of biological functioning, but is dramatically exacerbated by inflammatory foods, environmental toxins, unhealthy lifestyle choices (like smoking and drinking), and stress.

While the body does produce its own antioxidants endogenously (such as glutathione and melatonin), managing oxidative stress also requires an antioxidant-rich diet. Studies demonstrate that the flavonoids in parsley effectively increase the antioxidant and chelating capacities of the blood.[1]

Direct anti-cancer properties. Parley’s benefits aren’t limited to preventing cancer before it develops; research also demonstrates that it contains powerful compounds that fight cancer directly. Phenolic compounds such as apigenin, apiin, myristicin, and apiol have been shown to suppress various cancers by “triggering cell apoptosis and autophagy, inducing cell cycle arrest, suppressing cell migration and invasion, and stimulating an immune response.”[2]

These compounds appear to be especially beneficial for the lungs, and as such can protect against the cell-damaging, cancer-causing effects of smoke and other inhaled toxins.

How to use parsley medicinally

In order to enjoy the full health benefits of parsley, you’ll need to consume more than the usual decorative sprig or dash from the spice jar. Think of it as a whole food rather than a side addition. You can add loosely chopped fresh parley to salads, stir fry dishes, chilis, and soups. It’s also an excellent ingredient for homemade dips and salad dressings.

Adding parsley to smoothies is another easy way to integrate it into your life. The wide possibility of flavors and ingredients will allow you to blend up lots of parsley at once—sweet fruits like bananas and blueberries, astringent fruits like lemon and lime, and healthy nuts and seeds (or nut butters) are all great for balancing out the pungent flavor of parsley. For an extra healthy smoothie, add nutrient-dense greens like kale or spinach to the mix! Experiment with different recipes and combinations to see what works best for your palate.

While both fresh and dried parsley offer benefits, it’s usually best to choose fresh whenever possible. Levels of a few nutrients (such as potassium) appear to be more concentrated in dried parsley, but otherwise, fresh parsley is nearly always more nutrient-dense. It’s also much more flavorful, and it has the intangible benefit of being living food.

 


References

[1] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814605004073

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5629766/

Image source

Pesticide usage is an intensely polarizing issue. Many still tout the practice as an essential tool of agricultural efficiency, but mounting evidence suggests that the dangers of these chemicals may not be worth the perceived benefits!

The debate is especially heated around a pesticide chemical called glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp.

Commercial usage of glyphosate has been banned or restricted in at least fourteen countries already, due to the health risks that many believe the pesticide poses.[1] Chief among these risks is cancer—the World Health Organization ranks glyphosate as a Class 2A carcinogen (i.e. a “probable human carcinogen).

Monsanto maintains that numerous studies and scientific reviews “support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer.”[2] This is well-chosen and potentially misleading language, as nearly all medical studies are careful not to evoke causation, especially with a disease as complex as cancer. This does not, however, exonerate glyphosate as a strong contributing risk factor for cancer (this is implied in the WHO’s notion of a “probable human carcinogen”).

For a growing number of people, the connection between glyphosate and cancer isn’t so ambiguous. Over 5,000 lawsuits have been filed against Monsanto by individuals who claim that glyphosate exposure caused their cancer.

In August 2018, the first of these lawsuits to go to trial resulted in a major victory for those against pesticide use: a California jury found Monsanto liable, and ordered the company to pay $289 million in damages.

A milestone in the fight against pesticide toxicity

For years, the problem of pesticide toxicity appeared intractable to environmentalists and advocacy groups. Monsanto simply had all the money, power, and influence it needed to defeat regulatory attempts before they could even gain traction.

But a series of significant events has made it clear that Monsanto’s power over public opinion is eroding.

While the story is a complicated one, the tide arguably began to turn with the World Health Organization’s highly publicized reclassification of glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. Monsanto vehemently denied the validity of the classification, and even demanded that the WHO overturn it, to no avail. Suddenly, the possibility of glyphosate’s toxicity was no longer just a fringe idea, but one given serious credence by a globally respected organization.

Soon after, two class action lawsuits were filed against Monsanto on the basis of consumer fraud claims. On February 27, 2017, a judge presiding over one of the cases ordered Monsanto to unseal incriminating documents.

His words clearly reflect a sense of growing suspicion over Monsanto’s tendency toward deception: “I have a problem with Monsanto because…it is insisting that stuff should be filed under seal when it should not be filed under seal.” The documents revealed that Monsanto was tipped off about the WHO’s reclassification of glyphosate (and tried to stop it), that the EPA colluded with the company to prevent a health review of glyphosate, and that Monsanto ghostwrote its own studies and got experts to sign off on them.

The two class action lawsuits were later consolidated in the Missouri federal court, and were settled with  Monsanto agreeing to pay $21.5 million. While this was certainly a victory, it was more of a technical one. The settlement still didn’t draw a direct connection between RoundUp and cancer—instead, it focused on a labeling issue that misrepresented the value of the product being purchased.

This current cancer lawsuit sets a new precedent

The California lawsuit that came to a conclusion in August 2018 is an entirely different story. That suit was personal, not class action—a school groundskeeper named Dewayne Johnson sued Monsanto, on the grounds that RoundUp caused his cancer.

The case was fast-tracked to trial, because of the severity of Mr. Johnson’s cancer (it was made clear that he may not live past 2020). As mentioned earlier, the jury ruled in favor of Mr. Johnson, and Monsanto was ordered to pay $39 million in compensatory and $250 million in punitive damages. And perhaps even more importantly, the court found that Monsanto failed to warn Mr. Johnson about the cancer risk associated with glyphosate exposure.

This official acknowledgement of glyphosate’s cancer risk sets a new precedent for those advocating stricter regulation of pesticides (and for all of the individuals who have brought similar lawsuits against Monsanto). The anti-pesticide movement was further bolstered by the recent banning of chlorpyrifos-based pesticides, and Mr. Johnson’s victory provides even more leverage in the fight for safe and sustainable agriculture.

Monsanto appealed the jury’s ruling in favor of Mr. Johnson, but the California Supreme Court rejected the request on the basis of the state’s Proposition 65, which follows the WHO’s classification of glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.

Regardless of your stance on pesticides, it should be clear that these events are a step in the right direction. They affirm that the judicial system can help us move toward more transparent business practices—ones which, in the words of Mr. Johnson’s lawyer, “put consumer safety first over profits.”[3]

 


References

[1] https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/germany-13-other-countries-say-no-glyphosate-what-about-us

[2] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/10/business/monsanto-roundup-cancer-trial.html

[3] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/10/business/monsanto-roundup-cancer-trial.html

Image source

Prevention is touted as primarily important in the natural health community. Alternative and holistic medicine prides itself on creating overall balance and preventing health issues before they arise—as opposed to allopathic medicine, which endeavors to manage acute symptoms of current conditions.

As the rising incidence of chronic disease demonstrates, symptom management is not a satisfactory approach to healthcare; an increasing number of experts argue that our medical system must prioritize prevention if we wish to make any progress.

Cancer is no exception. While progress has been made in some areas of oncology, and the functional food revival has provided some safe alternatives (or adjuncts) to chemotherapy and radiation therapy, the battle against cancer is far from over.

The National Cancer Institute reports that while cancer mortality has declined by 25% since the early 1990s, the overall incidence of cancer continues to rise.[1]

These data points suggest that, while we’re making progress on cancer treatment strategies, we haven’t gotten any better at preventing cancer.

That tide is beginning to turn, though—even mainstream cancer researchers now admit that lifestyle choices play an overwhelming role in epigenetically determining cancer risk, and that it’s critical for Americans to pay attention to cancer risk factors.

Is early detection on par with prevention?

Towards the same end of lowering overall cancer incidence, experts have noted that early detection of cancer is another powerful and important “prevention” strategy.

While it may still be preferable to prevent any development of cancer whatsoever, early detection does have one advantage over lifestyle prevention: it is entirely quantifiable.

Scientists and clinicians can say with empirical certainty that at Stage 0— the earliest possible stage at which signs of cancer development can be discerned—cancer can be treated with a near 100% success rate. For this reason, cancer researchers are currently placing as much emphasis on cancer detection technologies as on treatments for later-stage cancer.

Here’s the issue, though: early cancer detection has always been considered notoriously difficult. Prominent studies have even aggregated study data to demonstrate that “cancer screening has never been shown to save lives.”[2]

In some cases, cancer screening techniques can even do more harm than good. For example, some experts worry about the risks of mammogram breast cancer screenings. A study published in Cancer Biology & Medicine reported that overdiagnosis of breast cancer is a prevalent issue.[3] Such errors—which arise because mammograms do not provide data that allows for reliable discernment between malignant tumors and benign breast lumps—lead women to undergo costly and high-impact cancer treatments unnecessarily.

Further, while conventional oncologists generally believe that the potential benefits outweigh the risks, studies have also shown that the x-ray radiation to which mammograms expose women can actually cause breast cancer.[4] The levels of radiation emitted by mammogram machines may be up to 600% higher than previously estimated, so women should proceed with caution (and seek out thermography, a dramatically safer breast cancer screening method that is just as accurate as x-ray mammography).

Safe, affordable cancer detection tests offer new hope

The good news is that emerging technologies could provide safe, accurate, and affordable early detection of cancer.

Before mentioning the cutting-edge early cancer detection tests that have researchers most excited, though, it’s worth repeating that thermography is available as a breast cancer screening option right now.

Because of how deeply wedded mammography is to oncology networks, patients are often not even told that they have other options. Did you know that the Breast Cancer Awareness Movement (the one with the pink ribbons) is funded by the manufacturers of mammogram machines? It’s no wonder, then, that they’re slow to disclose a safer competing technology like thermography.

Another new technology worth seeking out is called the ONCOblot test, a type of liquid biopsy that requires only a drop of blood, and tests for the presence of a specific protein that is only produced on the surface of cancer cells.

It can be used reliably to detect twenty different sites of cancer origin and a wide variety of cancer types, including breast, bladder, cervical, colorectal, endometrial, esophageal, gastric, hepatocellular, kidney, leukemia, non-small cell, lung small cell, lymphoma, melanoma, mesothelioma, myeloma, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, sarcoma, squamous cell, follicular thyroid, papillary thyroid, testicular germ cell, and uterine.

One clinical study reported that this test was able to detect mesothelioma 4-10 years in advance of clinical symptoms.[5]

Similarly, another liquid biopsy called the EarlyCDT Lung Test was able to detect the presence of lung cancer well before symptoms were visible on standard CT diagnostic tests. Researchers are elated, as lung cancer is the most common cancer in American men (and fourth most common in American women), and reliable early detection will dramatically increase survival rates.

While both of these liquid biopsy tests are currently still being developed and evaluated, are still subject to FDA approval, and may not be available in your area, they provide a hopeful demonstration of the future of cancer treatment and prevention.

 


References

[1] https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/statistics

[2] https://www.bmj.com/content/352/bmj.h6080

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5365181/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4878445/

[5] https://clinicalproteomicsjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12014-016-9103-3

Image source

After decades of ridicule and denial, the theories of early vitamin C researchers are finally gaining acceptance in the mainstream medical community. Dr. Fredrick Klenner, whose extensive vitamin C research in the 1930s was largely scorned, observed that “some physicians would stand by and see their patient die rather than use ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), because in their finite minds it exists only as a vitamin.”

Dr. Klenner, as well as other researchers like Linus Pauling, used vitamin C to treat a mind-boggling array of health conditions, including supposedly incurable ones. Though their work is still considered controversial, modern research has confirmed the therapeutic efficacy of ascorbic acid in a wide variety of medical contexts, including hormone regeneration, cancer, heartburn, stomach ulcers, anti-aging skincare, stress relief, sepsis, heart disease, and more.

But some researchers believe that vitamin C deserves even more credit. Viewing it as a therapeutic agent, they argue, still implies that it is “only a vitamin,” rather than an integral and essential part of biological homeostasis in humans.

To understand their point of view, it’s necessary to take a brief tour of human evolution.

The connection between vitamin C production and biological balance

If it sounds a bit strange or overblown to consider vitamin C a fundamental aspect of the body’s self-regulating biology, consider this fact: humans are one of only a few species that do not endogenously produce ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Nearly all mammals (and nearly all vertebrates, for that matter) have a built-in biological mechanism for producing ascorbic acid, which acts as a hormone regulator, modulates the immune system, and protects the body against acute stressors.

Furthermore, humans lost the ability to synthesize vitamin C internally due to what is referred to as a genetic metabolic defect—some researchers even go so far as to state that humans have an “inborn vitamin C deficiency,” for which they must compensate in order to remain healthy.[1]

More conservative researchers claim that the genetic mutation responsible for the loss of vitamin C synthesis is a neutral trait (in genetics, a trait is considered neutral when its loss is neither advantageous or disadvantageous). They contend that the importance of exogenous vitamin C is already highlighted by the fact that its RDA is higher than any other vitamin (60 mg/day), and that a normal diet provides the average person more than enough vitamin C.

There’s a couple facts that suggest that diet is not sufficient to provide us with ample vitamin C, though (especially if we want to enjoy its more acute therapeutic benefits).

For example, while researching the correlation between vitamin C concentrations within certain organs and elite athleticism, one doctor realized that the “optimal” vitamin C concentrations would be very difficult to achieve with an RDA of 60 milligrams (the current recommended daily allowance of vitamin C).[2]

Further, vitamin C is used up much more quickly in individuals who smoke tobacco or drink alcohol, in the presence of toxins, and in states of physiological and emotional stress. Thus, even if 60 mg/day is a sufficient baseline dose of vitamin C, it’s likely that our bodies are using it to fight toxins and stress rather than optimizing overall biology.

Given the chronic vitamin C depletion that these ideas suggest, the nearly miraculous reversals of disease states that high-dose vitamin C can facilitate begin to make more sense. What improvements in health and wellness could we all enjoy if vitamin C deficiency was addressed with simple supplementation?

How to start benefiting from vitamin C today

All the researchers and physicians who successfully used ascorbic acid as a therapeutic agent did so by mimicking the endogenous vitamin C production of other mammals—that is, they dramatically raised blood serum levels of vitamin C very quickly (one study found that goats produce nearly 13,000 mg of vitamin C every day, and that this production level increases by almost 10 times in a matter of hours when the animal is placed under acute stress).[3]

To do this requires very specific routes of administration—taking a few of those orange-flavored chewable vitamin C tablets isn’t going to cut it.

Until quite recently, intravenous administration of vitamin C was the most tenable approach. While it’s certainly still viable, the method has its obvious drawbacks: it’s expensive, requires appointment scheduling and doctor supervision, and often is a time-consuming process. Besides, there’s not many people who are willing to deal with intravenous needles just to get their dose of vitamin C.

Thankfully, it’s now possible to raise your blood serum levels of vitamin C at home, safely and affordably, with a simple liquid vitamin C supplement. Two formulation methods—known as micellar and liposomal encapsulation—have revolutionized vitamin C supplementation by raising the bioavailability of ascorbic acid to levels approaching that of intravenous administration.

If you’d like to find the best vitamin C supplement to include in your own regimen, look no further than PuraTHRIVE. They offer the only vitamin C available that’s delivered with both micelle and liposomal encapsulation—this patented, two-part formulation method protects ascorbic acid from breakdown, ensures optimal nutrient utilization, and even enhances the already impressive antioxidant activity of vitamin C.

Give it a try today, and experience how much better the body functions when provided with an optimal quantity of this essential nutrient.

 


References

[1] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080320120726.htm

[2] Colgan M, OPTIMUM SPORTS NUTRITION, Advanced Research Press, New York, 1993:11-12.

[3] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080320120726.htm

Image source

After decades of being grossly underrated, vitamin C is beginning to move back into the spotlight. Research demonstrates that this humble nutrient offers benefits far beyond the prevention of scurvy, thus vindicating the writings of early pioneers like Linus Pauling.

In past articles, we’ve detailed how vitamin C fights cancer and improves survival rates, fights heartburn and stomach ulcers, keeps skin radiant and wrinkle-free, provides immediate stress relief, allows for recovery from advanced sepsis, and improves cardiovascular health.

In the 1940s, Dr. Fredrick Klenner followed in Linus Pauling’s footsteps by using vitamin C as a therapeutic agent in his medical clinics—with mega-doses of vitamin C, he claims to have cured his patients of pneumonia, encephalitis, Herpes zoster (shingles), Herpes simplex, mononucleosis, pancreatitis, hepatitis, bladder infections, alcoholism, arthritis, cancer, leukemia, atherosclerosis, ruptured intervertebral discs, high cholesterol, corneal ulcers, diabetes, glaucoma, schizoprenia, burns, infections, heat stroke, radiation burns, heavy metal poisoning, venomous bites, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, and more.

The work of both Linus Pauling and Dr. Klenner is quite controversial. They have routinely been referred to as quacks, and are only just beginning to regain favor. As you can see from the article links above, though, there’s more than enough conclusive research to support vitamin C’s healing and health-supporting potential, regardless of your stance on these original vitamin C enthusiasts.

One important area that has vitamin C researchers especially interested is endocrine support.

Vitamin C can regenerate hormones, study finds

As we’ve discussed in past articles, hormone and endocrine dysfunction is a serious and prevalent health issue. Hormones are fundamentally involved in the regulation of the body’s cells, neurotransmitters, and organs. Thus, endocrine imbalance can lead to a staggering array of health problems, including fertility issues, chronic fatigue, cardiovascular issues, depression, anxiety, and other neuropsychiatric disorders, diabetes, cancer, and many others.

Luckily, research suggests that vitamin C can offer powerful endocrine support. In one prominent study, researchers set out to explore the mechanisms through which vitamin C may prevent the breakdown of hormones into toxic metabolites. The results were even more impressive than they expected: vitamin C was shown not only to prevent hormone degradation, but also to regenerate estrone, progesterone, and testosterone.[1]

These findings have remarkable implications. They expand our understanding of vitamin C as an antioxidant, insofar as they demonstrate that ascorbic acid not only neutralizes free radicals, but also prevents the analogous production of “hormone transients.”

This mechanism is especially important because it highlights vitamin C’s potential use as a safe alternative to hormone replacement therapy (which is inconsistently effective, and tends to make the problem worse by making the body dependent upon an external source of hormones).

Lastly, this study strengthens the case for vitamin C as a potent protector against the toxins of modern living. The endocrine system is centrally involved in the body’s detoxification functions; thus, by supplying the body with vitamin C, you’re exerting a direct antioxidant influence and optimizing the body’s inherent detox system.

How to supercharge hormone healing

There’s just one catch when it comes to reaping the benefits of vitamin C: high blood serum levels are required, so it can be difficult to get enough vitamin C from food sources alone, or even through conventional supplementation.

Until fairly recently, the only way to achieve therapeutic blood serum levels of vitamin C was by receiving it via intravenous injection. This is still a worthwhile route of administration, but it’s expensive and time-consuming—not to mention ill-advised for those who don’t have the stomach for needles.

The development of a nanoencapsulation method called liposomal delivery, however, has made it safe, easy, and affordable to supplement with vitamin C optimally, without needles or doctor appointments.

Liposomalization sounds complicated, but it’s simple in concept: this formulation process uses phospholipids (fats) to form a sort of protective bubble around vitamin C molecules. The lipid layer protects vitamin C against breakdown and allows it to be utilized directly by the cells in your body.

There are a handful of companies offering liposomal vitamin C products, but we exclusively recommend this one by PuraTHRIVE.

They’ve raised the bar even higher by using a patented “double-encapsulation” method called micelle liposomal formulation. Micelles further increase absorption, ensure that your cells can utilize vitamin C optimally, and even improve the antioxidant capacity of vitamin C.

It should go without saying that you should still eat lots of healthy foods rich in vitamin C, even in the midst of your supplementation regimen. Optimal nutrition should always be the foundation of a healing lifestyle or specific therapeutic protocol—after all, “supplements” are referred to as such because they’re meant to supplement, not replace, food sources of nutrients.

Combined with a healthy diet, though, micelle-liposomal vitamin C is the fastest and easiest way to enhance the incredible hormone-healing benefits offered by vitamin C.

 


References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21814301

Image source

A couple in British Columbia covers their already-installed smart meter with a metal hood to block its radio transmissions. The company that makes the hoods is doing a brisk business.

In Maine, a smart meter opponent brings a lawsuit against the utility company that wants to install the new technology on his house. He wins his case.

These are just a few of the hundreds of incidents in the media lately about the Smart Meters: the digital devices utility companies are installing on customers’ homes all over North America (and other continents). 

Utility companies say smart meters will reduce stress on an overworked electrical grid and help limit power outages. They point out that more efficient use of power reduces the need for more power plants and helps keep rates low.

Smart meters take the place of your meter reader, digitally sending info about your electricity consumption back to the utility. The info gathered by the meters also lets consumers monitor their own power use, adjusting consumption so they can run power-hungry appliances when rates are low. For example, by turning on the clothes dryer late at night instead of the middle of the day.

But many consumers aren’t convinced their best interests are being served.

A debate is now raging over whether such devices are as safe as manufacturers promise?

Smart Meters: Harmless convenience or serious health risk?

So Why the Outrage?

Basically, the hubbub swirls around three issues:

1. Smart meters aren’t safe. They emit radio frequency energy that some say is a health risk, especially those with electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS).

2. They’re an invasion of privacy. Because the meters record and broadcast the slightest changes in household energy consumption, they can pinpoint when houses are empty, even when occupants go to bed.

3. Smart meters save consumers money. That doesn’t wash with some home owners who claim their utility bills have tripled since the installation of the wireless meters.

Microwave electromagnetic fields (EMFs) have been linked with a variety of health issues, including cancer, heart problems, reproductive issues, behavior disorders, depression, anxiety, diabetes, and insomnia.[3] The World Health Organization (WHO) now classifies cell phones as a Class B carcinogen,[4] and other research has demonstrated that the radiation emitted by cell phones (as well as other EMF-producing devices) can increase cancer risk, weaken bone structure, and lower sperm count and motility.[5]

All that being said, the verdict is still out on just how dangerous conventional EMF-emitting devices like cell phones are. In 2016, an animal study with an unprecedented sample size demonstrated conclusively that exposing rats to a lifetime of electromagnetic radiation (beginning in utero) will indeed increase the risk of cancer incidence.[6]

This study design leaves many questions and ambiguities, though. Do humans and rodents react to EMFs in the same manner? At what level and frequency of exposure does electromagnetic radiation pose appreciable risks to human health? Are the effects of EMFs negligible below certain levels of exposure?

These grey areas carry over into the debate about smart meters, which operate with essentially the same wireless technology as cell phones.

High-level governmental panels claim that research has revealed no reason for concern over smart meters. The California Council on Science and Technology, for example, stated in a 2011 report that “exposure levels from smart meters are well below the [FCC’s established standards] for such [health] effects,” and that “there is no evidence that additional standards are needed to protect the public from smart meters.”[7] The report also noted that the levels of electromagnetic radiation emitted by smart meters is significantly less than other conventional devices and appliances, such as microwave ovens and cell phones.

Some experts aren’t convinced, though. Dr. David Carpenter M.D., a graduate of Harvard Medical School, maintains that because there have been no human safety studies conducted on people living in houses with smart maters, we can’t be certain they are safe. Smart meter skeptics worry that, in 50-100 years, we’ll look back at wireless technologies as the unacknowledged catalyst of a human health crisis.

Other opponents argue that smart meters pose security and privacy threats, and that they should be more closely regulated, regardless of their health effects. Any wireless technology (unlike analog devices) are hackable—an eventuality that it particularly worrisome when it comes to controlling the flow of energy through the electrical grid. Many consumers believe that smart meter installation should therefore be the choice of the homeowner, not power companies.

California power customers addressed this issue by fighting to make smart meters an opt-out technology, and recently won the right to forgo their usage in favor of analog, non-transmitting powers meters. Many believe the fight isn’t over, as opting out of smart meter usage in California still comes with a hefty monthly. Nevertheless, the victory sets a precedent for anyone across the United States who wishes to push back against the proclamations of power companies.

Make up your own mind (and be proactive)

When it comes to making a choice about smart meters, remember to do your own research. Don’t be swayed by fearmongering and pseudoscience, but also be willing to entertain a healthy skepticism about the safety of EMFs.

Also, listen to your body—those who feel a sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation are often ridiculed by the mainstream, but it’s entirely possible that EMFs pose risks not yet quantified by science.

And regardless of your stance on smart meters, take measures to minimize the negative effects of electromagnetic radiation. Simple dietary and lifestyle practices can make a huge difference—check out our article on electropollution for more details about how to protect yourself.

 


References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1240724/

[2] https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/hats/publictn/elkins/cfcs.html

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26300312

[4] https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/radiation/cell-phones-fact-sheet

[5] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283017154_How_to_Approach_the_Challenge_of_Minimizing_Non-Thermal_Health_Effects_of_Microwave_Radiation_from_Electrical_Devices

[6] https://www.biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2016/05/26/055699.full.pdf

[7] https://ccst.us/publications/2011/2011smart-final.pdf

Image source

 

The importance of optimizing the microbiome simply can’t be overestimated. As gastrointestinal microbiologists continue to explore the uncharted territory of the body’s beneficial bacteria, it’s becoming clear that we simply can’t live without these symbiotic microbes. Now researchers have begun to hone in on how supporting these bacteria with probiotics can help prevent many of our society’s most prevalent chronic diseases.

Scientists have known for some time that the beneficial bacteria in your gut aid digestion and nutrient absorption, regulate appetite and metabolism, and boost immune function. To put it bluntly, this means that gut dysbiosis (i.e. an imbalance between beneficial and harmful bacteria in the gut) can make us fat and sick.

Our understanding of the microbiome is still in its infancy. It was hard to recognize microbiome imbalance when we lacked a basic understanding of its function and baseline state. Rigorous study has provided scientists with a much better picture, though—and this improved comprehension has allowed for widespread agreement about the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy gut flora colonies.

Once they knew what to look for, researchers started asking an important question: could gut dysbiosis be linked with chronic disease?

The incidence of many serious and prevalent chronic diseases has risen dramatically in the past few decades, and the cause of this escalating health crisis is widely debated.

Researchers hope that a deeper understanding of the microbiome will help us prevent (and even reverse) a wide variety of chronic diseases, including autoimmune conditions, mental health disorders, heart disease, metabolic disorders, and cancer.

Can probiotics help solve our health crisis?

Probiotic supplementation has increased in popularity, and for good reason. Here are some of the chronic illnesses that probiotics can help us avoid and overcome, according to researchers.

Gastrointestinal conditions. As the gut is the epicenter of the microbiome, it stands to reason that probiotics offer powerful support for a wide range of stomach issues. One comprehensive medical review reports that “perturbation of bacteria microflora of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract” can contribute to the development of GI ailments and disorders like diarrhea (especially when antibiotic-induced diarrhea), colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), pouchitis, and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

The researchers report that probiotic supplementation is a safe, effective, and time-tested treatment for these conditions.[1]

Auto-immune conditions. The gut microbiome accounts for a large percentage of the body’s immune defense capacity—up to 80%, by some estimates. Thus, gut dysbiosis is a clear precondition of immune dysfunction. Studies have detailed how gut dysbiosis underlies allergies, immunosuppression associated with viral infection, negative vaccination reaction,[2] type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus,[3] and have demonstrated that probiotics can be an effective preventative against and treatment for these conditions. As an added bonus, probiotic supplementation can even help protect the skin against the effects of aging and light damage.[4]

Skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis can all be traced back to issues with inflammatory response and immune function. Therefore, by restoring bacterial balance, reducing gastrointestinal inflammation, and modulating immune response, probiotics can play a critical role in the treatment of skin conditions.

Mental health disorders. Research has revealed a profound connection between the gut microbiome and the brain—an association now referred to as the “gut-brain axis.” Consequently, gut dysbiosis has been strongly linked with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, autism, and other mental health disorders, according to medical reviews.[5] Probiotic use has therefore been linked to improved symptoms of depression and other mental health issues.[6]

Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States—so you can imagine the excitement with which researchers reported that healthy microflora ratios achieved via regular probiotic supplementation can help prevent heart damage, heart failure, and other age-related cardiovascular issues.[7]

Metabolic disorders. Obesity and type 2 diabetes afflict an enormous percentage of the American population. While poor diet and sedentary lifestyle are certainly the biggest causative factors, researchers have been pleased to find that probiotics can help modulate metabolism, aid weight loss, ameliorate diabetic symptoms, and improve insulin sensitivity.[8]

Cancer. A growing body of medical literature suggests that gut dysbiosis (and the state of chronic inflammation associated with it) is strongly linked with the development of cancer. Studies have demonstrated that probiotics are beneficial in the prevention and treatment of cancer, not only due to their capacity to heal gut dysbiosis and systemic inflammation, but also due to direct anti-metastatic properties (i.e. the property of preventing cancer colony metastasis).[9]

The right way to use probiotics

The evidence above shows just how powerful probiotics can be—but you shouldn’t rely on them as a replacement for a balanced, healthy, nutrient-dense diet. No probiotic supplementation can overcome the damage caused by a diet of processed foods and indiscriminate use of antibiotics, unless you shift your habits in a healthier direction.

As long as you keep this principle in mind, however, probiotics can be an effective tool for rebuilding and protecting your microbiome.

Stick with probiotic products that implement well-tested bacterial strains, such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus (L. rhamnosus). Only use products that use a formulation method that verifiably optimizes absorption—the vast majority of probiotics simply die in the acidic conditions of the stomach before they can even be utilized by the body.

Our Favorite Probiotic: Rhamnosus.

Rhamnosus is one of the good guys. First isolated in the 1980’s, it’s now one of the most WIDELY USED and STUDIED probiotic strains, and has well-documented effects on health and well-being.

Just some of the potential benefits noted in the research include:

  1. Improved Gut Health. Including significant improvements in leaky gut, diarrhea, IBS and more.

  2. Stronger Immune Function. Fighting infections faster & improving the efficacy of conventional treatments.

  3. Enhanced Cognition. Potentially reducing anxiety and mitigating conditions such as ADHD.

  4. Healthy Child Development. Enhancing prenatal gut flora and even cutting the risk of colds.

  5. Easier Weight Loss. Reducing insulin sensitivity and potentially speeding up fat loss.

And that’s not all…

PuraTHRIVE has taken the L. Rhamnosus Strain Probiotic to the next level.

PuraTHRIVE combined the immense gut-supporting power of L.Rhamnosus strain probiotics with a unique RCME technology ProBifferin delivery method – using Lactoferrin to bond with the probiotic and RCME technology.

What does that mean?

The short story – it means it was designed with absorption in mind – helping you get the highest concentration of beneficial bacteria for your money.

Harness the power of L. Rhamnosus to restore your gut health, and improve your overall health

 


References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3002586/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4006993/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28556916

[4][4] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352647515000155

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5641835/

[6] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170523124119.htm

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5392220/

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5491138/

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5581548/

Image source